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Warren County Hometown Pride Program Launches


Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) has partnered with the mayors of Warren County, Warren County Board of Supervisors and Warren County Economic Development Corporation in the successful five-year Hometown Pride program. The 10 communities of Carlisle, Cumming, Hartford, Indianola, Lacona, Martensdale, Milo, New Virginia, Norwalk and St. Marys will be active participants in the program.

The Hometown Pride program enhances the economic and cultural vitality of communities by supporting, facilitating and furthering the implementation of community and county plans in a coordinated strategy with the assistance of a community coach. Lorin Ditzler has been selected by the local steering committee to serve as the Community Coach for Warren County. Lorin brings over a decade of experience in community development and a passion for small-town Iowa to her role as the Warren County Hometown Pride Community Coach. She previously worked as a city planning consultant for communities throughout the Midwest, and supported small businesses working and volunteering for multiple Chambers of Commerce. She holds an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa and a BA in English from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. She is an AICP certified city planner and a trained facilitator.

“The communities of Warren County are coming together to take the next step in building the future of their hometowns,” said Ditzler. “I’m excited to learn more about the hopes and goals of Warren County residents, and to help put those goals into action.”

“We are pleased to partner with Keep Iowa Beautiful to help our communities grow and thrive.” said Rachel Gocken, Executive Director of Warren County Economic Development. “Lorin’s expertise will be invaluable for creating an even stronger sense of pride, and we are eager to see the positive impacts this program will have in our county over the next five years.”

“Keep Iowa Beautiful is excited to partner with the county, the mayors and the economic development group,” added Gerry Schnepf, Executive Director of KIB. “As a result, 10 communities will have the potential to increase their cultural and economic vitality improving them as great places to live, work and raise a family.”

The Warren County Hometown Pride steering committee, made up of representatives of the participating communities, will be recruiting community members to help direct the Hometown Pride program efforts in each town. Individuals in Warren County who are interested in contributing to the future success of their hometown should contact the Community Coach, Lorin Ditzler at or 515-442-0723 about how to get involved in the Hometown Pride program.

KIB’s other Hometown Pride programs are in Clinton, Dubuque, Fremont, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Louisa, Pocahontas and Sac Counties and three Des Moines Capitol neighborhoods. This includes 68 communities and 3 neighborhoods. Hometown Pride is funded by Keep Iowa Beautiful, through support from private donors, a grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the counties and communities. KIB is building strong communities with sustainable futures.

About Keep Iowa Beautiful
Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 by Governor Robert D. Ray and Donald F. Lamberti becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. KIB is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods and communities in improving the economic vitality and cultural health of Iowa. KIB is helping build stronger communities to develop sustainable futures. Please check out their web page at

Windsor Windows & Doors Builds New Facility in Norwalk, Iowa

On June 28th, 2017 Windsor Windows & Doors held their groundbreaking event at Norwalk City Hall. The company will build a new 160,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Norwalk, Iowa on Highway 28 and Delaware Street. This new facility will be located on 27 acres of land in and the additional property will accommodate future expansion for the company.

Warren County and the City of Norwalk were able to create an incentive package to aid Windsor’s new endeavor in Norwalk. The incentives included Warren County Economic Development’s Opportunity Fund Grant, in the amount of $50,000, Tax Increment Financing, the Iowa Economic Development High Quality Jobs Grant, a Norwalk High Quality Jobs Grant, and roadway improvement assistance through Warren County.”

“We’re also looking forward to being able to create new job opportunities for hard-working Iowans and contribute to our state’s economy,” said Mark Rieser, President of Windsor Windows and Doors. Rieser lauded the Certified Site program, on which the new facility will be built upon. “Windsor’s Norwalk site was selected as a part of the Iowa Economic Development Association’s (IEDA) “Certified Sites” program, which means it is designated as “development-ready.” This certified site has a remaining 28.79 acres of developable land.

This new Norwalk facility will be Windsor’s fourth manufacturing facility in the United States. Windsor currently operates two other manufacturing facilities in West Des Moines and one in Monroe, North Carolina.

About Windsor Windows & Doors

Established in 1946, Windsor Windows & Doors markets Pinnacle wood windows and patio doors, Next Dimension vinyl windows and patio doors, Legend cellular PVC windows, Ashworth patio doors and Revive pocket replacement windows. Windsor is owned by Woodgrain Millwork, the largest U.S. manufacturer of prefinished mouldings and interior pine doors. Windsor operates its divisional headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa, and has an additional manufacturing facility in Monroe, N.C. For more information, visit

About Woodgrain Millwork

Woodgrain Millwork is a leading producer of mouldings and windows, and is the largest manufacturer of interior pine doors in the United States. With five divisions and more than 29 manufacturing and warehouse facilities in the United States and South America, the company serves markets throughout North America. For the nearest distributor of Woodgrain Millwork products, visit or call 1-800-452-3801.

Warren County Home Base Iowa Designation Successful

Since the spring of 2015, Warren County Economic Development Corp. (WCEDC) has gathered support pledges from local businesses and employers to earn designation as a Home Base Iowa Community. WCEDC is pleased to announce that the necessary steps have been completed to achieve the designation.

WCEDC held a public event on Thursday January 7th at 2:00pm in the Warren County Administration Building. Staff members were joined by Sen. Julian Garrett, Rep. Stan Gustafson and Rep. Scott Ourth as Warren County was officially announced as the newest Home Base Iowa Community by Jason Kemp, the Home Base Iowa Program Manager.

“The Home Base Iowa designation will display Warren County as a ‘center of opportunity’ and is a way for our communities to provide resources and incentives to veterans to move to Warren County, buy homes, and work for our great companies” said WCEDC Executive Director, Hollie Askey.

Home Base Iowa is an initiative of Governor Branstad and the State of Iowa that was created to welcome and recruit veterans to live and work in Iowa. For more information on Home Base Iowa visit

Grocery Store Opens in Carlisle

Fareway officially opened their 109th grocery store in Carlisle, Iowa on November 19, 2014 just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. As the snow was gently falling outside residents, city and county officials, the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce, project partners, Fareway employees and Fareway corporate team members gathered to celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The project marks a $4 million dollar investment that created 86 new jobs for Warren County. Click here to view images from the exciting grand opening event.


C&L Companies Opens Distribution Center

C&L Cos. was welcomed into the “family” of Warren County companies at a ceremony Sunday at ‘The Farm’ in rural Warren County.  The event was attended by company leaders, project partners, and over 100 motocross riders and distributors.

C&L Companies owner Curt Leaverton thanked the individuals and organizations that had a role in supporting the project.  In all, well over 50 organizations and businesses were involved in completing the 25,000 square foot distribution center and road which serves the project.   Indianola-based Downing Construction and Sternquist Construction were among the businesses involved. 

The Warren County Board of Supervisors was specifically mentioned as instrumental in the project’s success.  Warren County was able to finish the road with a grant from the Iowa DOT and zero interest financing from the USDA Rural Development, the latter of which was secured by Interstate Communications.

Representatives from the Iowa Area Development Group and Iowa Economic Development Authority were also on hand for the ceremony, which featured a ribbon cutting by the Indianola Chamber of Commerce.  Clarke Electric Cooperative extended three-phase electric power for the project and Warren Rural Water also extended services.  The Greater Des Moines Partnership assisted in this project, too.

The facility houses non-engine components for two of C&L Companies’ businesses – Pivot Works and Bearing Connections.  C&L Cos., with headquarters and manufacturing facility in Urbandale, expects the Warren County facility to expand as the company grows.

The event was held during a ride event for C&L Companies’ dealers from a multi-state region.  View photos from the ribbon cutting event here:

Click here for press release


Warren County Awarded $45K to Assist Small Businesses

In a move to stimulate the financing of small business enterprises, the United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development (USDA) has approved $45,530 to assist qualifying projects in Warren County.  The award was announced by Iowa U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s office earlier this week, which can be found here:  

In July 2013, the Board of Directors for the Warren County Economic Development Corporation (WCEDC) voted to set aside $100,000 to establish the first countywide revolving loan fund (RLF) focused on growing small-to-medium-sized businesses in Warren County.  The USDA’s funding will be added to WCEDC’s commitment, raising the total available to $145,530. 

WCEDC’s chief aim is to pair RLF assistance with financing provided by Warren County-based private lenders.  In all instances, interested applicants must have first consulted with a private lender before pursuing a loan from the Warren County RLF.  As loans are paid back, funds continue to be made available for future projects, hence the description of “revolving”. 

“WCEDC and affiliated partners are putting the tools in place for businesses to succeed in Warren County,” said Jason White, WCEDC Executive Director.  “GroWARRENow was launched to grow the area’s economy in new ways, including by creating sources of capital like the Warren County RLF.” 

A seven-member loan review committee has been created, comprised of WCEDC board members, investors, area lenders and business leaders.  The committee will meet soon to finalize the RLF applications and lending criteria. 


Warren County Receives RISE Grant

Warren County has been approved for a Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy (RISE) grant from the Iowa DOT which will assist the C&L Companies warehouse and distribution project located approximately between Indianola and St. Marys.  Up to $391,125 will be made available to assist in the reconstruction of approximately 4,300 feet of Nixon Street. This project is anticipated to be completed by August 2014  and will involve the creation of 15 jobs, construction of a new 25,000 square foot building, and a $2,000,000 overall capital investment.  The grant also provides improved access to more than six acres for industrial, manufacturing and warehouse distribution purposes.   C&L Companies is headquartered in Urbandale and is a manufacturer of aftermarket parts for ATVs and motorcycles.

WCEDC Wins State Award for Business Retention & Expansion Program

Warren County Economic Development Corporation’s Business Retention & Expansion Program was chosen for “Overall BRE Program” and received the Professional Developers of Iowa’s 2013 Business Retention & Expansion Award. This prestigious award was presented to the WCEDC team by Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds at the Iowa SMART Conference on May 2, 2013.